Building an Inclusive Workforce in India: Empowering PwDs and LGBTIQA+ Communities

Building an Inclusive Workforce in India: Empowering PwDs and LGBTQIA+ Communities

Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzzwords. They are critical components of a progressive and sustainable workplace. For companies in India, the goal of sourcing candidates who are Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and from the LGBTQIA+ community is to build, develop, and sustain long-term employment opportunities. This approach not only promotes social justice but also enriches the organizational culture with varied perspectives and experiences.

The Current Landscape

In the next three years, organizations in India are planning numerous initiatives to improve the well-being of employees across the four pillars – physical, emotional, financial, and social. Strategies include: 

  • Health risk assessments (89%)
  • Creating an organization-wide mental health strategy (86%)
  • Providing financial well-being education (69%)

Creating and Sustaining Job Opportunities

To build an inclusive workforce, companies must take proactive and systemic steps to create and sustain job opportunities for PwDs and LGBTQIA+ individuals. 

According to India Today, Indian corporations are showcasing an increased consciousness about diversity and inclusivity as Foundit (formerly Monster), one of the leading talent platforms in India, reports a 26% annual rise in diversity hiring.

Developing Inclusive Hiring Strategies

Developing inclusive hiring strategies is a cornerstone of building a diverse and equitable workforce. To attract and retain top talent from the PwD and LGBTQIA+ communities, organizations must go beyond traditional recruitment methods. Here are specific strategies.

Sourcing Resumes and Candidates

Organizations can source diverse talent through several targeted and strategic methods designed to attract candidates from the PwD and LGBTQIA+ communities.

  • Participate in job fairs specifically catering to PwDs and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
  • Collaborate with NGOs that support these communities.
  • Engage in campus hiring to identify and recruit fresh talent.
  • Utilize job portals and professional networking sites dedicated to diversity hiring. Some resources to explore: 

Screening and Classification

It’s important to implement a candidate screening process that evaluates the suitability of applicants for different job roles. This helps in matching the right candidates with the right opportunities, ensuring their skills and abilities are effectively utilized.

Pre-Interview Counseling

Provide pre-interview counseling to candidates to help them understand the job role, the company culture, and the interview process. This can boost their confidence and improve their chances of success.

Initial Hand-Holding

Ensure a barrier-free workplace by offering initial hand-holding to differently-abled candidates. This might include physical adjustments to the workspace, providing assistive technologies, or other necessary accommodations.

Building a Supportive Structure

Creating job opportunities is just the first step. To truly empower PwDs and LGBTQIA+ individuals, companies must build a supportive structure that sustains their growth and well-being.

  • Peer Sensitization

Conduct sensitization programs for employees to educate them about the challenges and strengths of PwDs and LGBTQIA+ colleagues. This fosters a culture of empathy, respect, and support within the workplace.

  • Regular Counseling:

Offer regular counseling sessions for a fixed period to help new hires navigate their roles and address any challenges they may face. This ongoing support is crucial for their long-term success and integration into the company.

  • Sustained Support Structures:

Develop and maintain support structures that cater to the unique needs of PwDs and LGBTQIA+ employees. This includes creating inclusive policies, providing mentorship programs, and establishing employee resource groups.

The Impact of Inclusive Hiring

Inclusive hiring practices have a profound impact on both the individuals and the organization:

  • Empowerment and Growth: PwDs and LGBTQIA+ individuals gain access to meaningful employment opportunities, enabling them to achieve financial independence and professional growth.
  • Enhanced Organizational Culture: A diverse workforce brings a variety of perspectives and ideas, fostering innovation and creativity. Inclusive companies often report higher employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates. As a 2020 McKinsey and Co study has shown, companies with ethical and cultural diversity outperform others by 36% in profitability. 
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: By promoting diversity and inclusion, companies demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, enhancing their reputation and strengthening their brand.


Building, developing, and sustaining long-term employment for PwDs and LGBTQIA+ individuals is not just a moral imperative—it is a strategic advantage. Companies in India that embrace inclusive hiring practices and create supportive environments for all employees will lead the way in building a more equitable and prosperous future.

By taking concrete steps to source, support, and sustain diverse talent, businesses can unlock the full potential of their workforce, driving innovation and success in a rapidly evolving world.